Home Keeping scoreGreat Britain Baseball Scorers AssociationYou Are the Scorer You Are the Scorer: Thread for queries

You Are the Scorer: Thread for queries

by Joe Gray


The weekly You Are the Scorer post will be used as a thread for scoring queries for the rest of the year, so please leave a reply below if you have a question or comment.

To hunt through the first 50 You Are the Scorer questions, click here.

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Andrew October 25, 2009 - 10:59 am

Can’t think of a scoring query, but just wanted to say this section of the site is one of my favourite parts of this site. Great way of learning about some of the less common plays in baseball.

Love the new design too!

Joe Gray October 25, 2009 - 11:20 am

Thanks for that Andrew – I really appreciate your kind words. It’s just a case now of how many more questions there are to ask (or at least how many I can think up)! I’m hoping that having a few weeks off will help get the creativity going again.


Matt Smith October 25, 2009 - 11:46 am

I’m sure I’ll have a few queries for you Joe, once my head is less frazzled from completing the launch!

Adam Brown October 29, 2009 - 10:32 am

The standard scoring system is deeply flawed and inconsistent. Why can’t we change it?

Why does a hitter get a sac for a fly ball but not a ground out? It’s just as valid a tactic.

Why does he lose his rbi when he gidps? This makes a mockery of the definition of “rbi”. He already has a gidp next to his name as his “punishment”.

If a pitcher is relieved with a runner on first and 2 outs, and a relief pitcher walks the next three batters before ending the inning, the original pitcher gets charged with the run, when it was clearly the relief pitchers fault. Stupid.

Matt Smith October 29, 2009 - 12:10 pm

Adam has given you some good points to ponder there Joe, but here are a few specific scoring queries inspired by game one of the World Series.

There was an unusual double play that can be seen here (you may have to sit through a few annoying Windows 7 ads first!). Basically, Matsui led off the inning with a single and Cano then hit a flare/dipping liner to the shortstop Rollins. It looked initially as though he had deliberately let the ball bounce so that he could get a double play. He stepped on second to force Matsui and throwed to first. Cano was called safe due to Howard being pulled off the bag, but Howard did then tag Matsui who was wandering around off the base. The umpires had a meeting and correctly called that Rollins had actually caught the initial liner and Howard’s tag on the unsuspecting Matsui had completed a double play.

I think I scored the play correctly as it was finally called, but my two questions relate to this scenario where it includes the shortstop throwing to the second baseman in the middle (rather than getting/going for the force at second himself).

Let’s say the shortstop caught the liner, throwed to the second baseman (as he was not sure if he had caught it), who chucked it to the first baseman who then tagged Matsui. Is it only the second baseman who gets an assist on the second out, or does the shortstop get one as well?

Secondly, let’s say Rollins did deliberately let the liner bounce, chucked it to the second baseman for the force, who then throwed to first to complete the DP. Am I right in thinking that from the official scoring point of view, this just goes down as your bog-standard 6-4-3 DP? With my unofficial scoring hat on, I would want to record Rollins’ clever thinking, but is there any official scoring ruling on that I would I just have to score it as a normal DP and then write a side note?


Joe Gray October 29, 2009 - 12:19 pm

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the questions/comments.

While small tweaks are made to the scoring rules from time to time, we’re unlikely to ever see a substantial change made again as it would make it even more dangerous to compare statistics between different seasons than it is currently.

For instance, batting averages would experience a sudden jump if hitters were no longer charged with an at-bat for grounding in a runner.

I do agree that there’s not much to choose between grounding in a run and a sacrifice fly from the player’s perspective – in both cases it’s a failure that is made better by virtue of a runner being on third. I guess one thing that can be said in favour of the sacrifice fly is that it is more of an event than grounding in a run. If there’s a close play, it’s at the plate rather than at first, for one thing.

The reason it doesn’t bother me too much is because even if the rules were amended to make the basic statistics more fair, they still would be basic statistics. An increase in data availability and computing power has meant that sabermetricians are essentially able to generate whatever advanced statistics they want now. It would be perfectly possible, for instance, for them to subtract the number of times grounding in a run from all at-bats in a new metric for batting prowess.

Still, it’s nice to think what changes could be made if the rules were ever opened up again in the way they were in the late 19 Century. I’d like an overhaul of the error rule as, for one thing, it penalizes fielders with a better range for being able to put themselves in with a chance of making a play.

Joe Gray October 29, 2009 - 12:34 pm

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the questions.

The way I see the first question is that if the shortstop hadn’t thrown to the second baseman then there wouldn’t have been a play at all, so his role was non-trivial (and there was no intervening misplay) and therefore an assist is justified.

I’d only withhold an assist from someone involved in a play if:
– they had a trivial or even deleterious impact on the play (e.g. a pitcher diving for a ball heading to an infielder and deflecting it away, making the play more tricky);
– or there was an intervening misplay (e.g. if the pitcher is wild with a pick-off attempt, causing the runner to head for the next base only to be thrown out by the first baseman, only the first baseman gets an asssist).

I’m not sure why I was picking on the pitcher in both the above examples!

As for the second question, then yes, you have it right. It’s a standard one in the scorebook, but a side note would definitely be justified.

On a related note, I’d also add in a side note in the very rare but plausible case where a pop-up off the bat of a slow runner is deliberately dropped with a quick runner on first to enable the quick runner to be forced at second and get the slower one on first.


Matt Smith October 29, 2009 - 1:48 pm

Great. Thanks for those comments Joe. If any more scoring plays come up in the World Series, I’ll be sure to pass them on!


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